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May 30, 2012

Letter from very unhappy soldier – May 30, 1862

Filed under: Civil War Daybook — Lori Williamson @ 9:00 am

Letter from Sergeant David A. Piercy of Brackett’s Battalion, Minnesota Cavalry in Tennessee to Ignatius Donnelly regarding Piercy’s illness and disenchantment with his regiment. He’s been ill for 3 month, denied a furlough and won’t apply for discharge because they “won’t let anyone go out of the Regiment.”

“Ft Henry Tenn May 30th /62
Dear Friend it is a long time since I have riten to you or heard from you so I think that I will try and send you a few lines. I have been sick and in the Hospital at Paducah and I am not will now by a good deal and I dont think that I shall ever be the same as I was when I left Minn.  I had the Tifoid [Typhoid] feavor and one of my lungs is efected and I have not done any duty for three months. and I tried to get a furlough but the surgeon of our Regiment would not give me one. but I think that I am entitled to a Discharge but I have not applied for one for it is no use for [they] wont let any one go out of the Regiment. I tell you Mr Donnelly this is one of the greatest swindels that has ever been got up. the Regiment dont amount to a row of pins.  The officers are just robbing Government, there aint more than half of us that have got arms and horses. we are staying here at the mercy of the enemy. the Colonel has a steam boat so that [they] can get away and [they] will leave the rest of us to look out for our selves.
Our Company is in a bad state[.] our Captain has been taken Prisoner and fifteen of the company and our first Lieutenant is in St Paul sick. and the 2nd is not the right kind to get along here, so we have rather hard times. when our Capt was with us we got along very well, but since that it has been a up hill affair. I am perfectly disgusted with the regiment and company[.] if I could get out of it I would.  I supose that thare is no use of me telling you about the skirmishes at the [Obisse] for you have heard all about it long before this. I was sick in the Hospital at the time or else I should have ben in it to. […]“

Citation:  May 30, 1862 Letter from Sgt. David A. Piercy to Lieutenant Governor Ignatius Donnelly, Correspondence Apr-May. 1862. Ignatius Donnelly and family papers, 1812-1973. Minnesota Historical Society.

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